Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem, a.k.a. the Waqf, a Jordanian agency which controls the Temple Mount compound with the approval of the Netanyahu (Sovereignty? Moi?) government, on Tuesday boasted on its Facebook page: “Despite the forced closure of al-Aqsa Mosque / AL-HARAM AL-Sharif due to the spread of the virus, the staff, workers and guards of the al-Aqsa Mosque continue their hard work in the service of the mosque.”
And the nice people of the Waqf enclosed several innocuous images of fixing up the old mosque (which was designed by a Jewish architect – just like the Temple). But the sharp folks from the Zionist watchdog Im Tirtzu detected at least two images the showed the Waqf officials conducting unauthorized digs on the Temple Mount.
Indeed, the Arab Desk of Im Tirtzu accused the Waqf of taking advantage of the closure to perform illegal digs that are aimed at “destroying Jewish artifacts and history.”
That’s, in fact, the semi-official Waqf slogan: “Destroying Jewish artifacts and history since June, 1967.”
Israel conquered the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War of June 1967. Soon after its capture, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan handed the keys to the Temple Mount to the Muslim Waqf authorities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in a gesture of respect for the rights of Muslims at the site.
In his diary, Dayan wrote that the last thing he needed was a Jewish Vatican in the middle of Jerusalem. He used the pun “Datican,” which was funny, but also reversed that resounding cry of the commander of the 55th Paratroopers Brigade Mordechai “Motta” Gur: “Temple Mount is in our hands.” Ten minutes later it wasn’t.
According to the Netanyahu government’s Foreign Office, “after Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967, Israel’s leadership chose to uphold the existing status quo on the Temple Mount. Out of respect for Muslim sensibilities, it allowed the Islamic Waqf to continue to administer the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.” And, a paragraph or so later, the FM of PM Netanyahu notes: “Jews and other non-Muslims are not permitted to pray on the Temple Mount.”
And the Waqf has been relentless not only in stopping and reporting any Jew who dares speak to his or her Father in Heaven from the Temple Mount, they’ve also been digging and removing 9,000 tons of earth, millennia of Jewish artifacts and Jewish history, and dumping them by the truckload (an entire archaeological project has risen using that dumped soil – The Temple Mount Sifting Project).
Im Tirtzu stressed in a press release that “due to the highly sensitive nature of the Temple Mount, all digs must be approved by both the Waqf and the Israel Antiquities Authority.”
Students for the Temple Mount, a student-based organization promoting religious equality and freedom on the Temple Mount, also blasted the digs, stating: “The fact that the Waqf had the gall to publicly publish pictures of this illegal digging just emphasizes Israel’s lack of sovereignty on the Temple Mount.”
Tom Nisani, head of Im Tirtzu’s Arab Desk, noted: “What’s even more disturbing are the things that the Waqf doesn’t make public. The time has come for Israel to once and for all assert its sovereignty over the Temple Mount. It’s absurd that the Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site – is the only place in the Western World where Jews can’t pray.”
“The longer the Temple Mount stays closed, the greater the chances are that the Waqf will destroy more Jewish history,” Nisani said.